International Journal of One Health

Open access and peer reviewed journal on Human, Animal and Environmental health

ISSN (Online): 2455-8931

ISSN (Print): 2455-5673




  Editorial board

  Instructions to authors

  Reviewer guideline

  Open access policy





Open Access

Copyright: The Authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the
Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Review (Published online: 27-09-2016)

6. Prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis in man and domestic animals: A review - P. H. Bamaiyi

International Journal of One Health, 2: 29-34



  doi: 10.14202/IJOH.2016.29-34



P. H. Bamaiyi: Department of Public Health, School of Allied Health Sciences Ishaka, Kampala International University, P.O. Box 20000 Kampala, Uganda;


Received: 24-05-2016, Accepted: 08-09-2016, Published online: 27-09-2016


Corresponding author: P. H. Bamaiyi, e-mail:

Citation: Bamaiyi PH. Prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis in man and domestic animals: A review. Int J One Health 2016;2:29-34.


Brucellosis is the most common worldwide zoonosis with 500,000 new cases every year in humans and infections in millions of animals. This infection is mainly acquired by humans through consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products from infected animals. Exposure can also occur occupationally in those who work closely with animals through contact with aborted fetuses and reproductive secretions. Animals acquire the infection from other infected animals through direct contact and vertical transmission. This infection is prevalent in all continents of the world except Antarctica, but its impact is more felt in developing countries where it is endemic in animals and humans. In certain developed countries where the disease was eradicated, there seem to be a re-emergence of the disease as the disease appears to claim more territory. The risk factors of the disease may vary from country to country and region to region, but most risk factors are similar. Consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products plays a very important role in the transmission of this infection from animals to humans, in addition to direct contact with infected animals and their secretions. The best way to control this ubiquitous infection is through the One Health approach which involves human health, animal health, and environmental health. This paper reviews the prevalence of brucellosis in some countries in various continents of the world and highlights the risk factors responsible for the persistence of this infection in animals and humans with a view to proffering solution to this age-old zoonosis that has defied eradication for many generations in many parts of the world.

Keywords: animals, brucellosis, human, prevalence, risk factors.


1. Roushan MR, Kazemi S, Rostami FF, Ebrahimpour S. A study of Brucella infection in humans. Crescent J Med Biol Sci 2014;1:69-75.
2. Godfroid J, DeBolle X, Roop RM, O'Callaghan D, Tsolis RM, Baldwin C, et al. The quest for a true one health perspective of brucellosis. Rev Sci Tech 2014;33:521-38.
3. Foster G, Osterman BS, Godfroid J, Jacques I, Cloeckaert A. Brucella ceti sp. Nov. And Brucella pinnipedialis sp. Nov. For Brucella strains with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2007;57:2688-93.
4. Ficht T. Brucella taxonomy and evolution. Future Microbiol 2010;5:859-66.
PMid:20521932 PMCid:PMC2923638
5. Mirnejad R, Vahdati AR, Ahmadi A, Mortazavi SM, Piranfar V. Comparison of culture and multiplex PCR technique for detection of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis from human blood samples. Zahedan J Res Med Sci 2013;15:29-32.
6. Steffen R. Antacids – A risk factor in travellers brucellosis? Scand J Infect Dis 1977;9:311-2.
7. Ladak K, Sitzer N, Wyne A, Ghadaki B, Patel A. Fever in the returning traveller: A forgotten culprit. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 2014;25:194-5.
8. Hadda V, Khilnani G, Kedia S. Brucellosis presenting as pyrexia of unknown origin in an international traveller: A case report. Cases J 2009;2:7969.
PMid:19918443 PMCid:PMC2769393
9. Di Pierdomenico A, Borgia SM, Richardson D, Baqi M. Brucellosis in a returned traveller. CMAJ 2011;183:E690-2.
PMid:21398234 PMCid:PMC3134761
10. Seleem MN, Boyle SM, Sriranganathan N. Brucellosis: A re-emerging zoonosis. Vet Microbiol 2010;140:392-8.
11. Dean AS, Crump L, Greter H, Schelling E, Zinsstag J. Global burden of human brucellosis: A systematic review of disease frequency. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2012;6:e1865.
12. Ducrotoy M, Bertu WJ, Matope G, Cadmus S, Conde-lvarez R, Gusi AM, et al. Brucellosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Current challenges for management, diagnosis and control. Acta Trop 2015. pii: S0001-706X30147-9.
13. Aworh MK, Okolocha E, Kwaga J, Fasina F, Lazarus D, Suleman I, et al. Human brucellosis: Seroprevalence and associated exposure factors among abattoir workers in Abuja, Nigeria - 2011. Pan Afr Med J 2013;16:103.
PMid:24876892 PMCid:PMC4033582
14. Regassa C, Mekonnen D, Yamuah L, Tilahun H, Guta T, Gebreyohannes A, et al. Human brucellosis in traditional communities in Ethiopia. Int J Trop Med 2009;4:59-64.
15. John K, Fitzpatrick J, French N, Kazwala R, Kambarage D, Mfinanga GS, et al. Quantifying risk factors for human brucellosis in rural northern Tanzania. PLoS One 2010;5:e9968.
PMid:20376363 PMCid:PMC2848606
16. Makita K, Fvre EM, Waiswa C, Kaboyo W, De Clare Bronsvoort BM, Eisler MC, et al. Human brucellosis in urban and peri-urban areas of Kampala, Uganda. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2008;1149:309-11.
17. Nassaji M, Govhary A, Ghorbani R. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory findings in adult patients with acute brucellosis: A case-control study. Acta Medica Mediterr 2015;31:1319-25.
18. Bamaiyi PH, Hassan L, Khairani-Bejo S, Krishnan N, Adzhar A, Ramlan M, et al. Risk factor for Brucellosis in urban and rural areas of Malaysia. In: UPM, editor. 2nd Malaysia-Thailand Graduate Forum 2013 in Life Science, Food Science and Agriculture (MTGF) 2013. Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia: University Putra Malaysia; 2013. p. 139-40.
19. Khan MY, Mah MW, Memish ZA. Brucellosis in pregnant women. Clin Infect Dis 2001;32:1172-7.
20. Fuchs I, Osyntsov L, Refaely Y, Ciobotaro P, Zimhony O. Ritual slaughter as overlooked risk factor for brucellosis. Emerg Infect Dis 2016;22:746-8.
PMid:26981642 PMCid:PMC4806964
21. Hegazy YM, Ridler AL, Guitian FJ. Assessment and simulation of the implementation of brucellosis control programme in an endemic area of the Middle East. Epidemiol Infect 2009;137:1436-48.
22. Scharff RL. Economic burden from health losses due to foodborne illness in the United States. J Food Prot 2012;75:123-31.
23. Traxler RM, Guerra MA, Morrow MG, Haupt T, Morrison J, Saah JR, et al. Review of brucellosis cases from laboratory exposures in the United States in 2008 to 2011 and improved strategies for disease prevention. J Clin Microbiol 2013;51:3132-6.
PMid:23824776 PMCid:PMC3754678
24. Agrarias FD, De Vericel G, De Antioquia U. NIH public access. J Infect Dev Ctries 2013;6:675-9.
25. Gwida M, Neubauer H, Ilhan Z, Schmoock G, Melzer F, Nckler K, et al. Cross-border molecular tracing of brucellosis in Europe. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2012;35:181-5.
26. Al Dahouk S, Nckler K, Hensel A, Tomaso H, Scholz HC, Hagen RM, et al. Human brucellosis in a nonendemic country: A report from Germany, 2002 and 2003. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2005;24:450-6.
27. Mancini FR, Bella A, Graziani C, Marianelli C, Mughini-Gras L, Pasquali P, et al. Trends of human brucellosis in Italy, 1998-2010. Epidemiol Infect 2014;142:1188-95.
28. Aftab H, Dargis R, Christensen JJ, Le Flche P, Kemp M. Imported brucellosis in Denmark: Molecular identification and multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) genotyping of the bacteria. Scand J Infect Dis 2011;43:536-8.
29. Eales KM, Norton RE, Ketheesan N. Brucellosis in Northern Australia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010;83:876-8.
PMid:20889883 PMCid:PMC2946760
30. Ridoutt C, Lee A, Moloney B, Massey P, Charman N, Jordan D. Detection of brucellosis and leptospirosis in feral pigs in New South Wales. Aust Vet J 2014;92:343-7.
31. Coelho AC, Dez JG, Coelho AM. Risk factors for Brucella spp. updates on brucellosis. In: Baddour MM, editor. Domestic and Wild Animals. InTech Publishers; 2015. p. 1-31.
32. Bamaiyi PH, Khairani-Bejo S, Zainal Abidin M. The economic impact attributable to brucellosis among goat farms in Peninsula Malaysia and cost benefit analysis. Res Opin Anim Vet Sci 2015;5:57-64.
33. Godfroid J, Scholz HC, Barbier T, Nicolas C, Wattiau P, Fretin D, et al. Brucellosis at the animal/ecosystem/human interface at the beginning of the 21st century. Prev Vet Med 2011;102:118-31.
34. Bamaiyi PH, Hassan L, Khairani-Bejo S, Zainal MA. Updates on brucellosis in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Malays J Vet Res 2014;5:71-82.
35. Adamu M, Mshelia GD, Elelu N, Ouda L, Egwu GO. Studies on farmer awareness on caprine abortion and the presence of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis in selected flocks in an arid zone of Nigeria. Vet Med 2012;4:17-21.
36. Sanogo M, Abatih E, Thys E, Fretin D, Berkvens D, Saegerman C. Risk factors associated with brucellosis seropositivity among cattle in the central savannah-forest area of Ivory Coast. Prev Vet Med 2012;107:51-6.
37. Mufinda FC, Boinas F, Nunes C. Prevalence and factors associated with cattle brucellosis in animal herds of the Namibe province in Angola. Alexandria J Vet Sci 2015;47:7.
38. Mwebe R, Nakavuma J, Moriyn I. Brucellosis seroprevalence in livestock in Uganda from 1998 to 2008: A retrospective study. Trop Anim Health Prod 2011;43:603-8.
39. Megersa B, Biffa D, Abunna F, Regassa A, Godfroid J, Skjerve E. Seroprevalence of brucellosis and its contribution to abortion in cattle, camel, and goat kept under pastoral management in Borana, Ethiopia. Trop Anim Health Prod 2011;43:651-6.
40. Musallam II, Abo-Shehada M, Omar M, Guitian J. Cross-sectional study of brucellosis in Jordan: Prevalence, risk factors and spatial distribution in small ruminants and cattle. Prev Vet Med 2015;118:387-96.
41. Bamaiyi PH, Hassan L, Khairani-Bejo S, ZainalAbidin M, Ramlan M, Adzhar A, et al. The prevalence and distribution of Brucella melitensis in goats in Malaysia from 2000 to 2009. Prev Vet Med 2015;119:232-6.
42. Bamaiyi PH, Hassan L, Khairani-Bejo S, ZainalAbidin M, Ramlan M, Krishnan N, et al. Case-control study on risk factors associated with Brucella melitensis in goat farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Trop Anim Health Prod 2014;46:739-45.
43. Anka MS, Hassan L, Adzhar A, Khairani-Bejo S, Mohamad RB, Zainal MA. Bovine brucellosis trends in Malaysia between 2000 and 2008. BMC Vet Res 2013;9:230.
PMid:24246015 PMCid:PMC3833174
44. Islam MA, Khatun MM, Werre SR, Sriranganathan N, Boyle SM. A review of Brucella seroprevalence among humans and animals in Bangladesh with special emphasis on epidemiology, risk factors and control opportunities. Vet Microbiol 2013;166:317-26.
45. Inchaisri C, Prasomsri P, Boonserm T, Hogeveen H, Ajariyakajorn K. A stochastic simulation model for brucellosis eradication in goat flocks in an area with high flock prevalence but low animal prevalence. Small Rumin Res 2016;136:227-37.
46. Wongphruksasoong V, Santayakorn S, Sitthi W, Chuxnum T, Pipatjaturong N, Kunthu A, et al. An outbreak of Brucella melitensis among goat farmers in Thailand, December 2009. Outbreak Surveill Investig Rep 2012;5:14-21.
47. Higgins J, Stuber T, Quance C, Edwards WH, Tiller RV, Linfield T, et al. Molecular epidemiology of Brucella abortus isolates from cattle, elk, and bison in the United States, 1998 to 2011. Appl Environ Microbiol 2012;78:3674-84.
PMid:22427502 PMCid:PMC3346378
48. Shury TK, Nishi JS, Elkin BT, Wobeser GA. Tuberculosis and brucellosis in wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) in Northern Canada: A renewed need to develop options for future management. J Wildl Dis 2015;51:543-54.
49. Oseguera Montiel D, Frankena K, Udo H, Keilbach Baer NM, van der Zijpp A. Prevalence and risk factors for brucellosis in goats in areas of Mexico with and without brucellosis control campaign. Trop Anim Health Prod 2013;45:1383-9.
50. Meirelles-Bartoli RB, Mathias LA, Samartino LE. Brucellosis due to Brucella suis in a swine herd associated with a human clinical case in the State of So Paulo, Brazil. Trop Anim Health Prod 2012;44:1575-9.
51. Santos RL, Martins TM, Borges M, Paixo TA. Economic losses due to bovine brucellosis in Brazil. Pesqui Vet Bras 2013;33:759-64.
52. Taleski V, Zerva L, Kantardjiev T, Cvetnic Z, Erski-Biljic M, Nikolovski B, et al. An overview of the epidemiology and epizootology of brucellosis in selected countries of Central and Southeast Europe. Vet Microbiol 2002;90:147-55.
53. Yilmaz B, Ozdemir G, Aktas E, Komur B, Alfidan S, Memisoglu S, et al. Brucellosis suspicion is the most important criterion for diagnosis particularly in endemic regions. Open Orthop J 2016;10:7-11.
PMid:27006730 PMCid:PMC4780486
54. Wernery U. Camelid brucellosis: A review. Rev Sci Tech 2014;33:839-57.
55. Bosilkovski M. Brucellosis: It is not only Malta! In: Zoonoses-Infections Affecting Humans and Animals. Dordrecht: Springer; 2015. p. 287-315.
56. Godfroid J, Al Dahouk S, Pappas G, Roth F, Matope G, Muma J, et al. A "one health" surveillance and control of brucellosis in developing countries: Moving away from improvisation. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2013;36:241-8.
57. Bamaiyi PH, Hassan L, Khairani-Bejo S, Zainal MA, Ramlan M, Krishnan N, et al. isolation and molecular characterization of Brucella melitensis from seropositive goats in Peninsular Malaysia. Trop Biomed 2012;29:1-6.

E-mail:, Website:, Publisher: Veterinary World